Students enrolled in college in Washington D.C. who have been accused of a disciplinary violation are likely to find that their school's investigation and hearing process are stacked against them. Especially when the allegation you are facing is for a Title IX violation or for sexual misconduct, your due process rights seem to be given short shrift.
By filing a complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR), you can bring in a powerful government agency to protect the rights guaranteed to you by federal law. Hiring Title IX and OCR attorney Joseph D. Lento can help you craft an effective complaint about your particular situation.
How the Office for Civil Rights Works to Protect Students
The Office for Civil Rights is an agency in the U.S. Department of Education that is tasked with enforcing the federal laws that protect students in the realm of higher education. This includes your right to due process during a disciplinary proceeding.
Petitioning the OCR to conduct an investigation into your school's actions is necessary to implicate the agency in your case, though, and has to be done within 180 days of the alleged violation.
How OCR Investigations Work in the District of Columbia
After receiving a complaint, if the OCR decides to investigate they will send agents to your school to review documents and conduct interviews to see if your rights were violated. The scope of this investigation is limited by the complaint you filed, though, so a poorly-written OCR complaint can prevent a full investigation.
If the investigation finds that there was a violation, the next step is often mediation. Your school will be pressured to attend by the possibility of an administrative sanction if they are absent.
No Retaliation During the Investigation
During the OCR's investigation, any retaliation or intimidation by your school for implicating the agency can lead to another OCR complaint and another investigation.
The Settlement Process of Facilitated Resolution
Most OCR cases do not go very far, though. When a college in the District of Columbia learns that the OCR will be conducting its own investigation, it often tries very hard to settle the case as quickly as it can. The OCR knows this and provides the settlement process of Facilitated Resolution Between the Parties to allow it to happen.
Facilitated Resolution is basically a negotiation between you and your school to create a mutually beneficial agreement on how to resolve the disciplinary action against you, and the resulting violation of your rights by your school. While the OCR does not monitor the settlement process, if your school violates it once it has been signed, you can file another OCR complaint and initiate another investigation into your school's conduct.
Joseph D. Lento Helps Washington D.C. Students File OCR Complaints
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense and Title IX defense attorney who has helped countless students file an effective complaint with the OCR. Contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686 to get his help in protecting your future if your rights have been violated in Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help you or your student file a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- American University
- Catholic University of America
- Corcoran College of Art and Design
- Gallaudet University
- George Washington University
- Georgetown University
- Howard University
- Potomac College Washington
- Trinity Washington University
- University of the District of Columbia
- University of Phoenix - Washington DC Campus
Students and parents at times do not realize until after a finding of responsibility and the imposition of adverse sanctions that sexual misconduct allegations at college can result in severe consequences academically and professionally and in the short and long-term. The earlier the necessary steps are taken to address a Title IX case, the better, because these are cases that can be won at the school-level. There are times, however, that the help of the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (DOE-OCR) is needed and Joseph D. Lento has a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients at colleges and universities throughout the nation and has helped many clients seek recourse with the DOE-OCR. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who helps students in Washington, D.C., with DOE-OCR Title IX complaints, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing disciplinary case in Washington, D.C., and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.